In 2018, Canada welcomed over 321,000 new permanent residents.
As noted by Marco Mendicino, federal Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, in a report to Parliament, this was the “highest number of permanent residents since 1913”.
According to the MP representing the Ontario riding of Eglinton—Lawrence, the newcomers “arrived as part of a plan to responsibly increase Canada’s immigration levels to nearly one percent of our population”.
“This increase is needed to ensure that our economy continues to grow and can rely on a diverse and skilled supply of labour to compete globally,” Mendicino stated in his 2019 annual report about immigration.
With Canada under the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mendicino has made clear that newcomers are going to play a vital role in the country’s recovery.
“Immigration is going to spring our economic recovery out of this pandemic,” Mendicino said in a CTV interview on June 23, 2020.
Under the federal government’s current plan, the country was supposed to welcome an even bigger number of permanent residents for this year.
This was before COVID-19 brought the world to a virtual standstill.
The plan called for 341,000 new permanent residents in 2020.
In addition, Canada was to welcome 351,000 in 2021, and 361 in 2022.
Numbers about new arrivals so far in 2020 are not known immediately.
“We have a plan in place that looks to leverage the best and the brightest from around the world,” Mendicino said in the CTV interview.
“We’ve got pathways like the Express Entry program, and the Global Talent Stream, which will help to bring entrepreneurs, engineers, and innovators,” the minister continued.
Permanent residents have a path to Canadian citizenship after fulfilling a number of requirements, including having lived in the country for three out of the last five years.
“We’ve also got pathways for manual laborers and skilled laborers,” Mendicino added.
On June 17 this year, Mendicino updated the parliamentary committee on citizenship and immigration.
Mendicino told committee members that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is guided by its 2020 immigration plan, which targets 341,000 new permanent residents.